INTERVIEW: Railroad Commissioner Craddick on legislative session

INTERVIEW: Railroad Commissioner Craddick on legislative session, energy production safety

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick visited with us on a range of topics. Despite its name, the state agency regulates the energy industry, and no longer has regulatory oversight of railroads. Watch the interview in the video above.

Craddick is closely watching the legislature's work, hoping it will fund upgrades to IT infrastructure, to ensure transparency and efficiency within the agency.

"We're trying to be more consumer-friendly as an agency," Craddick said.

With two major fires recently at Texas energy facilities, Craddick says the Texas Center for Environmental Quality took the lead on monitoring air quality and related issues. But the Railroad Commission is charged with inspecting facilities statewide year-round, to make sure safety standards are being met.

"We average about 150,000 inspections a year across the state. And we want to make sure people are following our rules."

A challenge with so much production in the Permian Basin is moving oil and gas. One method, of course, is by pipeline. The Railroad Commission oversees the classification of pipelines and inspects the lines.

As for the demand for additional pipelines from the Permian Basin, Craddick says "the market takes care of it".

"There have been six to eight pipelines announced, that they will be built or are being built."

Craddick visited Lubbock to attend the groundbreaking of a new VA clinic.

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